Macbeth Research Paper

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Course: ENG 3U1

Tragedy is “a dramatic composition…dealing with a serious or somber theme, typically that of a great person destined through a flaw of character or conflict with some overpowering force, as fate or society, to downfall or destruction” (Dictionary.com). In the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare, Macbeth’s tragic flaw and the challenges he faces ultimately lead him to his downfall. Including his own, Macbeth is the root of all of the tragic deaths that occur in the play. Additionally, Macbeth does not make the best decisions for him or for his country, which eventually lead to his own demise. Therefore, Shakespearean tragedies involve a tragic hero who encounters many obstacles.

First , the play Macbeth can be considered a tragedy as Macbeth’s actions are the cause of many tragic deaths, including his own. Macbeth arranges the murder of Banquo and his son, Fleance, as he believed they were in his way of remaining King. During Macbeth’s soliloquy, he states, “Upon my head they plac’d a fruitless crown, / And put a barren sceptre in my gripe, / Thence to be wrench’d with an unlineal hand” (III I 61-63). He later goes on to hire the hit men to kill of Banquo and his son. Professor Theierry Boucquey said, “…a tragic hero experiences a succession of hardships” (Boucquey). This explains that the tragic hero goes through struggles throughout their reign as King. This relates to Macbeth as the murder of his close friend and his son was seen as an obstacle for him. Macbeth murders Macduff’s family because he views Macduff as a threat to him in terms of maintaining the kingship. After hearing that Macduff poses a threat to his reign as king, Macbeth states, The castle of Macduff I will surprise,

Seize upon Fife; give to the edge o’ the sword His wife, his babies, and all unfortunate souls That trace him in his line. No boasting like a fool;...
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